|About the Book|
Since the 1980s service learning has become increasingly popular in higher education. Students, faculty, administrators, and the general public all have a strong sense that there should meaningful linkages between colleges and universities and theirMoreSince the 1980s service learning has become increasingly popular in higher education. Students, faculty, administrators, and the general public all have a strong sense that there should meaningful linkages between colleges and universities and their local and global communities. This book argues that despite such hopes, and the attention and funding it has attracted, service learning continues to be under-theorized, marginally embedded, and only tentatively embraced within the academy. The author explores the conceptual, institutional, political, pedagogical, and pragmatic reasons for this situation. While deeply supportive of service learning and the larger community engagement movement, the author offers a fundamental rethinking in order to sustain a scholarship of engagement in higher education. Through case studies, theoretical inquiries, and careful argumentation, the author offers a renewed vision of the place of consequential community-based models of teaching, learning, and research. The first part of this book maps out the limits and possibilities of service learning in higher education. It examines the multiple barriers that limit the institutionalization of service learning, and provides a theoretical and empirical foundation for its potential as a transformational pedagogy. Part Two puts forward the idea of developing an academic home for service-learning through community studies programs, which link academic coursework with long-term, immersive, and meaningful community engagement. The book provides case studies and cross-disciplinary comparisons (e.g., womens studies, Black studies) to suggest a complementary vision for the role of community engagement across the university. The book concludes by examining the larger vision of a scholarship of engagement in higher education. It details the means for strengthening of faculty buy-in, the necessity (and problematics) of fostering and sustaining collaborative networks within and across institutions and communities, and the growing challenges for a scholarship of engagement as higher education grapples with new realities such as the increasing racial diversity of students, external market pressures, and the changing terms of faculty employment. This book offers a theoretically rigorous and empirically grounded picture of service learning in the context of the major changes confronting the academy to consider how it can contribute to the future of higher education. It is a valuable resource for all who care about and engage in active and meaningful teaching, learning, and research that links colleges and universities with communities.